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New FSX Gmax 'simple' basics tutorial (Read 6063 times)
19th Nov, 2007 at 11:38pm

lionheart   Offline
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Hey guys,

Yes..   I have been busy.  Because of the prodding and faithful words of Robert Kerr, I have been drudging along, learning FSX compilations with Gmax.  With that, having learned enough to get hurt, I have decided to post my findings to the world, in compiling, animating, creating materials, attaching doo-hickies, and you name it, what ever else, that FSX requires, for a model to 'shine' in FSX................

I have a Beta (Build 1.0) available from my own site.  This has JPG art by Robert Kerr as well in the tutorial.  There is also a part (at the last) on how to make a Bump Map.  I hope I phrased things as simple and easy to realise as humanly possible.  If not, please yell at me here and I will repair the said topic and content.

All for one and one for all!  To conquering the beast, this new, fangled 'mystery' that scared so many of us.  For those of us Gmaxxers that have staved off the difficult SDK's, let us pick up the new tools and fill the skies once again with our dreams and visions!

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Edit - FJR 2009-04-01 with new download link from Bill's posting today - see below for more IMPORTANT details

Parts of the download include the following;
*  Complete Tutorial on compiling a FSX pure model
*  FSX Gmax Plane, complete, with FSX materials 'on' it, which can be merged with your own planes.  Mainly chrome and glass.
*  A complete aircraft from the same file for FSX, complete folder, flyable now.
*  Textures pack for Gmax to see in 'My Pictures' folder.
*  Tutorial on Bump Maps

With this, you should be able to basically understand fully how to simply compile a FSX plane from the FSX SDK Gmax.  (If I can do it, then you definately can do it.  Trust me on that one).

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Gmax model

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FSX Ready model

Remember, this is a Beta tutorial pack for learning on....  Please yell at me here on things you think should be changed on it before I release it to the world.  Known bug, panel doesnt work, wont show gauges.

Happy flying,    

Billl
« Last Edit: 1st Apr, 2009 at 5:41pm by Felix/FFDS »  

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Reply #1 - 20th Nov, 2007 at 6:38pm

Fr. Bill   Offline
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When using the Animation Tool, you can leave the menu open, choose another part, then simply click on "Update Set" to reset the Animation Tool for your next part.

This way you don't have to close and reopen the Animation Tool dialog for every part...  Cool

Except for the "Opacity Level", the entries in "Blinn Basic Properties" really do not need to be used. That's what all the new options below it are for. In fact, setting them can cause some of the "oddities" you noticed (such as Fresnel ramp killing reflections, et cetera).
« Last Edit: 21st Nov, 2007 at 12:31pm by Fr. Bill »  

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Reply #2 - 21st Nov, 2007 at 6:17am

J_MacKay   Offline
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Thanks Bill for putting this package together. I've been putting off making the move to FSX modeling until I finished the FS9 versions of the AT6's. Man there's so much left to learn about FS9 and now I have to dive into FSX. A FSX expert was going to help us convert our models but he's insisting on working with 3dsMax models only and all I have are gmax versions. So it looks like we're on our own. Now I guess I have to decide what flavor of FSX to develop - SP1 or SP2.  It'll probably be SP1 since I have a four year old computer.

Here's a sneak peak of our flight line

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Well I'll have six models to practice your tutorials on.
 
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Reply #3 - 21st Nov, 2007 at 3:07pm

lionheart   Offline
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Hey John,

That is alot of work there that you have done!  Nice!


Converting a FS9 plane requires the following;
*  Open FS9 model in FSX Gmax
*  Click the GUID manager and give it a new GUID.
*  Assign all animated parts with 'FSX animation tags' from the Animation Manager.
*  Any parts with effects or visual effects, such as a spinning prop or tire or nav light, you simply open up Attach Effect Tool, locate the part in the list, (such as prop0_blurred) and click 'add to objects geometry'.  
*  Then animate all 'unanimated' parts, such as tires, props, ailerons, rudder, etc.  Animate them as key animations.  (Gmaxxers know how that is done).
*  Next, create the FSX materials.  Click on Material Editor, click New, select FSX Material, then from the Materials library, drag over your previous bitmap and lightmap if you have one, then set the materials per the SDK and or my settings.  Apply to former FS9 materalial assigned parts.  

Done.  

Export a 'exterior' model, then export a 'interior' model (export two seperate models).  
Set up your model.config for the names of the two models, (BD5.MDL and BD5_Interior.MDL), then save, drop in new MDL files.

Boot up FSX and check your work.

Export times are massively reduced and range from 10 to 30 seconds compared with 20 min's on FS9 model compile times, so checking models in FSX is quite fast now.

Getting a plane to Gmax is actually not difficult at all.  I can see making planes in FS9, then making a conversion of it for FSX and doing it in quick order.  When you have your materials already created, the only hard part is going to be the XML code for your custom animations, since its different from the older FS9 code.

Not much more.  You will need to do a bump map, but doesnt have to have all rivets and such if you are going to have photo real textures.  (Just do a few bits like the wheel hubs.  The bump map is necessary for various material effects to occur).  I include a basic bump-map tutorial in the download.

Also, I have uploaded the second version of the tutorial, adding some other materials and tutorial sub-sections, (such as how to make nav lights).  The aircraft is also improved, (both flight model in FSX, and the Gmax model).  Same link and file name.

Bill
 

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Reply #4 - 21st Nov, 2007 at 3:10pm

lionheart   Offline
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Quote:
When using the Animation Tool, you can leave the menu open, choose another part, then simply click on "Update Set" to reset the Animation Tool for your next part.

This way you don't have to close and reopen the Animation Tool dialog for every part...  Cool

Except for the "Opacity Level", the entries in "Blinn Basic Properties" really do not need to be used. That's what all the new options below it are for. In fact, setting them can cause some of the "oddities" you noticed (such as Fresnel ramp killing reflections, et cetera).



Thanks Fr. Bill for that.  I didnt want to assume anything so was being as careful as possible.
 

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Reply #5 - 21st Nov, 2007 at 4:06pm

Felix/FFDS   Offline
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lionheart wrote on 21st Nov, 2007 at 3:10pm:
Quote:
When using the Animation Tool, you can leave the menu open, choose another part, then simply click on "Update Set" to reset the Animation Tool for your next part.

This way you don't have to close and reopen the Animation Tool dialog for every part...  Cool

Except for the "Opacity Level", the entries in "Blinn Basic Properties" really do not need to be used. That's what all the new options below it are for. In fact, setting them can cause some of the "oddities" you noticed (such as Fresnel ramp killing reflections, et cetera).



Thanks Fr. Bill for that.  I didnt want to assume anything so was being as careful as possible.


On a "basic" tutorial, show it being done the "long" way, with a "timesaver" sidebar.
 

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Reply #6 - 4th Dec, 2007 at 9:30pm

J_MacKay   Offline
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A quick question about updating an FS9 gmax model to FSX.

Should I split the FS9 model into two separate models, one for exterior and one for VC (interior) and assign a guid to each model, or do I leave the FS9 model as it is and assign it one guid and when I export the different models just select the parts involved and use the export selected command instead of export?
 
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Reply #7 - 11th Dec, 2007 at 11:10am

lionheart   Offline
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Hey John,

Sorry, I didnt see this post.

You want 'one' model as your file, such as Exterior.

If you are inventive enough, you will only need to focus on 'one' main file and create a derivative as the 'VC' or 'interior' model from it.  For instance, you can name a Hierarchy node 'AAA Interior Parts', and then have the parts associated with the VC model in that folder that wont go in the 'exterior' model.  Then hide that node of parts when you burn a 'exterior' model.  (Vice versa with exterior node parts).  This way, all are in one file family, so you dont have a branch of odd variations start to occurr.  Just remember to select/deselect various parts nodes and hide what needs to be hidden, then 'Export Selected'.

Think of the parts list as your 'check list'.  Having nodes start with AAA will also place them at the top, so you can scan over the parts lists and more easily find what you need for your model burn.  (Like a shopping list).


Bill
 

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Reply #8 - 2nd May, 2008 at 1:29am

Katahu   Offline
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Now why didn't I spot this thread earlier? You know, I never knew that there was a another way of acquiring the GUID for the model. The SDK use to tell me to download a utility from some random page in the Microsoft website and then manually input the GUID onto the properties of the model. But now I see how you did it. I really look forward to reading more of this tutorial as I REALLY want to make a true FSX car addon from my new project [the Bugatti Veyron].

I like to thank you for creating this tutorial. I can only imagine how much time and effort you have spent to compile this lesson. If you don't mind, can I post this tutorial onto my website? If it's too much to ask, I can just simply post an announcement on my site and direct people to this thread. I'm pretty sure the newbies will be interested in reading your tutorial.
 

Current Project: Project Bugatti&&Status: Base Modeling&&Release Date: TBA&&Last Known Release: Shockwave Jet Truck
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Reply #9 - 7th May, 2008 at 11:51am

Alejandro Rojas L.   Offline
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As I told you ,Kat ,"ask" ,"Investigate" and put a lot of mind into it, and this is the right place to learn FSX,Good people Good will, great experts,

This site has always being my school...


Alex
 

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Reply #10 - 1st Apr, 2009 at 5:33pm

lionheart   Offline
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Hey guys,


New download link;

FSX Gmax Mini Tutorial
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Remember, this is only for going from FS2004 to FSX in Gmax, basics on FSX materials, etc.


Note; If you have rivets and things in the bump mapping 'reverse' on you on other sides of parts, simply make a note of where they are, and on the bump map, reverse the grays.  Example, instead of white rivets in a mirrored zone, use dark rivets instead in that area on your bump map.  Then recompile as a bump map and check in FSX.  (If you build half fuselages like me, then copy/paste/flip the fuselage halves and weld, then you will have to flip the other side bumpings also.. ).



Bill
 

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Reply #11 - 31st Jul, 2012 at 4:47am

John G.   Offline
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Hey guys, when I clicked on the link I received a 404 error, I looked else where for the link and could not find it, does it not exist anymore? Thanks
 
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Reply #12 - 15th Jan, 2017 at 3:56pm

Melo   Offline
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Hi Bill,

I am also looking for this tutorial, and getting back into modelling.  Is it available on your new web site, or somewhere here, or on the FS Developer or SOH sites?

Thanks!

Best regards,
Melo
 
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